This article originally appear on yegfitness.ca. It was written by Tony Nguyen and Nathan Bizeau of F.R.E.E. Fitness Inc.
One of the most popular questions personal trainers will get from their clients is, “How do I make cardio fun?” There’s actually no simple answer. However, we do believe that cardio can be fun if you actually enjoy the cardio that you are doing.
One of the oldest training tools in the book is the jump rope. Yet, people often forget or overlook the benefits of skipping when they think about cardio workouts. People typically think of using treadmills, rowers and ellipticals when they have to complete their scheduled cardio.
Thanks to YEGFitness Magazine, we’re paying homage to the jump rope and giving skipping the respect it deserves. We’ll list three major benefits of including skipping into your weekly cardio routine and provide you with two workouts: a beginner and an advanced workout. Let’s jump right into it!
1) Accessible and Affordable
Skipping gives you the freedom to do your cardio workout almost anywhere because it’s mobile and affordable A skipping rope will run you between $10 and $30. You can skip in your garage, at the gym, or take your cardio outside so that you can enjoy the fresh air and enjoy the beautiful Edmonton weather. I’ll choose the River Valley view over being inside any day.
2) Improve Your Fitness:
Skipping may help you burn more calories per hour if you’re looking to lose weight. Compared to other cardio machines it can help raise your heart rate two to three times faster than using an elliptical, stairmaster, or treadmill.
You’re also able to use different types of jump ropes to work on different areas of your fitness. To target speed and endurance, try using a lighter rope like a speed rope. To engage larger muscle to work on strength and burn more calories, try using weighted ropes. Both variations of ropes provide benefits to your overall fitness and keep you moving forward.
3) Coordination and Reactive Strength:
Skipping helps improve coordination which can further enhance spatial awareness, agility, and athletic ability. Skipping combines rhythm and timing which is known as “reactive strength”. Your brain and body must make quick adjustments to your rope’s speed, distance, and position relative to your body. It’s a great way to stay mentally engaged during your cardio workout.
4) Challenging and Fun:
Skipping can be one of the most challenging and enjoyable cardio workouts. Once you have overcome the initial challenge of learning how to skip and have gradually increased your tolerance to skipping for a few minutes at a time, there are countless variations and skills to learn. This could include single leg movements, crossovers, double-unders and yes, even triple-unders! Skipping may be used as a warm up to prepare for your workout, between sets to elevate your heart rate, or in a Tabata (four minutes: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest) to finish your workout. It’s a great cross-training tool to improve your cardio and to help supplement other fitness goals or sports like boxing (think Rocky Balboa).